Consultancy, Eastern Europe
Although an architect by training, Marina Jovicic has always preferred working in project management and on construction sites. So when she crossed paths with Mace she seized the opportunity to take her career in a different and more international direction, working across different sectors, services and countries in south-east Europe.
- How did your career lead you to Mace?
- I graduated in architecture in Belgrade and started to work as an architect at a design company for two years. My next role was in project management for an IT company that was constructing its own offices. Mace began doing business in Serbia in 2006 and was looking for office space in Belgrade. We had space to let and Mace ended up renting it! A week later a friend of mine introduced me to Mace’s director in Serbia and I accepted a role shortly thereafter.
- How has your career progressed since joining Mace?
My first project was the construction of Serbia’s first shopping malls, which was also Mace's first major project in the country. At the time, Mace was also working on the construction of one of the largest shopping malls in Poland. Tenant coordination [managing the handover between the client, landlord and the building's tenants at the end of construction] was completely new to me, so I spent my first week at Mace in Poland learning what the role involved.
I returned to Serbia with the knowledge I gained in Poland and prepared the documentation and procedures for the 125 tenants in the shopping centre. It was the first tenant coordination manual in Serbia and set the standard for the other shopping centres that Mace has since led in the Balkans. Shortly after, I was promoted to project manager.
- What challenges do you face in your current role at Mace?
I’m now project managing the construction of four clinical centres in Serbia - currently the biggest project in the country. I had mainly worked on shopping centres previously, so healthcare was a completely different sector for me. I've had to learn about the specifics for hospital conditions that I wasn’t familiar with, such as different materials, sanitary requirements and medical equipment.
My team is part of the Ministry of Health's project implementation unit and working with government officials can sometimes be challenging. Very often I find myself having to educate them about project management processes. I also have to ensure the project steps are aligned with Serbian laws and Mace standards at the same time.
- What has been your proudest achievement at Mace?
- My greatest achievement is definitely my first project - the shopping mall in Serbia. But I’m also very proud of the year when I delivered two different projects at the same time. They were in different countries and I was doing two different roles. I was spending a day in Croatia, where I was the senior tenant coordinator, then two days in Montenegro as the project manager, then flying back to Belgrade, where I live. I didn’t know which country I was waking up in! Both projects were delivered on time, which was a big success.
- What are you passionate about outside of work?
- I used to dive twice a year in places like Australia and South Africa. It’s much harder now that I have a five-year-old daughter who I spend every free moment with. I still try to find time, but now my daughter comes with me.
“I’m now project managing the construction of four clinical centres in Serbia - currently the biggest project in the country.”